Friday, December 17, 2010

I'll be home for Christmas

When I flew back to Copenhagen for Christmas, it was like a flashback to last year, except this time the baby was outside my belly rather than inside. In fact we went exactly the same route, via LAX and London Heathrow where I dropped off Mark and then continued the last leg to Copenhagen with Zoe on my own. The great thing was that we got to fly economy plus with Air New Zealand, the only airline where economy plus is really actually business class, because our tickets were actually return tickets from another business trip (don't ask...). Where last year that meant we got to dine from a select menu, watch at least one movie out of the 100+ videos on demand and if I remember correctly also a bit of intellectual conversation, this year we got to eat in teams, lie with a sleeping baby on top and watch half an hour of soundless Finding Nemo while trying to cover Zoe's ear with a set of complementary head phones. I still drank the champagne that they bring out before take-off though, this time around with a little less guilt because Zoe was no longer directly attached to my bloodstream.

When we landed in London Heathrow after a too short night as all east-bound Atlantic flights are, Zoe and I went back through security to wait with Mark for his flight. Ours was a full hour later in a different terminal. Heathrow is a maze of walk ways, between terminals through several sets of security. Having used it as a hub for over 10 years I knew it well and also knew that despite most other airports, it is actually perfectly possible to get into a terminal where you are not departing from. The transfer desks where you get your boarding pass is after security. We went to the Whetherspoons Pub for breakfast because as much as Zoe and I were able to get in to terminal 3, we were not flying out with a Star Alliance flight so we couldn't get into the lounge. Zoe was the least tired one of us and did most of the conversation as 7 months old babies do. Finally, after 2 hours, Mark proclaimed that he was going to get his plane and he kissed us goodbye. It would be a full week before we would see him again.

When Zoe and I landed in Copenhagen I called my mom who were suppose to pick us up. She frantically told me that I had to take a taxi because my brother had not even arrived yet to pick her up, because of all the snow the roads were blocked up. I loaded up all our belongings including Zoe's little stroller on a luggage cart and went to the taxi rank. As we drove through the snow-filled Christmas lit streets, Zoe dozed off and my mind ventured into memories of Christmas comfort food like marzipan, pickled herring and rice pudding with cherry sauce. I was home for Christmas.

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